Contemplative Life Video: Practicing Gratitude

By Kathy Keary

Our full series on Contemplative Life is here. 

We’re beginning a new feature in our series The Contemplative Life. Starting today, we will begin to offer videos in which we will walk the viewer through various types of contemplative prayer. We will not only be writing about contemplative prayer, we’ll try to put it into practice. Our hope is that this will be of benefit not only to individuals but also groups who may be interested in utilizing this resource for their gatherings.

Contemplative prayer responds to the deep hunger that God placed in our hearts to be in communion with the Divine. It opens the door for intimate communication with our Maker.

This week, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, our prayer will focus on gratitude. Meister Eckhart, a 13th century mystic, once said, “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”

A beautiful sunset, a melody, the smell of flowers, a gentle breeze ruffling your hair — the universe is full of beauty and goodness. However, as we go about our lives we are often not present to the beauty that surrounds us. Religious and spiritual traditions from around the world, and now science too, tell us that we should pause and take time for gratitude first. New studies are showing that doing so actually rewires our brains to experience more beauty and goodness. The act of noticing it helps us see more of it. Studies show that practicing gratitude brings joy into our lives.

Today I will walk you through a guided meditation where I will ask you to use your imagination as you enter into the familiar scene of Jesus feeding the multitude. As I read the Gospel story: The Feeding of the Five Thousand, I invite you to enter into the scene as a witness to all that is taking place. Picture the landscape, the weather, time of day, the multitude of people who have flocked to Jesus, the activity and gestures of Jesus, the apostles, and the crowd.

You might want to close your eyes to help you visualize the story

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Kathy Keary, spiritual director, holds a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in theological studies, and completed Sophia Center’s Souljourners Program, an intense study of spirituality and spiritual direction. Kathy believes that the Divine is present and active in all of life and encourages others to be awakened to the God in all including the Divine within. She enjoys accompanying others on their journey to wholeness discovering the person they were created to be.

Image © by Roy Harryman from Pixabay




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